India is a country where 70% of the population depends on agriculture as the main means of livelihood. The agriculture sector in India contributes 18% to the national GDP. The majority of the fruits and vegetables grown in India get wasted annually due to a lack of adequate cold storage facilities and refrigerated transport.
With increasing population and demand for food and other essentials, food wastage has been on a high generated daily by each household. According to a survey conducted in 2019, India ranks 102 in Global Hunger Index and studies show that about 7 percent of India’s total food production go wasted, which accounts for an alarming Rs 56,000 crore a year.
One of the major issues the farming communities are facing is wastage. The farmers currently do not have any means to understand the demand of the consumers. So, there is no means to plan production and this leads to wastage of the produces in excess amounts. Wastage leads to a great loss to the farmer and as a result, he would not get any value for his hard work.
Farmers Fresh Zone encourages farmers to use the latest technology to track and use best practices and reward them with better prices. Farmers Fresh Zone helps the farmers to get a better value for their produce.
One of the key highlights of the organization is decreasing food mileage. The organization ensures that the products reach the customer’s doorstep from the farms within a short time. By procuring vegetables and fruits from farmers around us, the company has reduced the food mileage to 200 kilometers, against an average of 1000 kilometers. It also helps in reducing the amount of Carbon Dioxide expelled to the atmosphere.
Food wastage is happening in different stages right from harvesting, transporting, packaging and consuming. Lack of cold chain and proper storage facility has also led to massive wastage. Perishable products like fruits and vegetables get wasted due to the unavailability of cold storage in most parts of the country and because of improper transportation facilities.
Let us look at the life cycle of the food item and various reasons these fruits and vegetables end up in the garbage.
1) The Farm: The very first stage of any fruits and vegetables begin from the farm. Farmers are conscious about the appearance of their products and are concerned that their products would be rejected by the consumers or by the supermarkets. In this way, his produce never makes it off the farm which leads to massive wastage of produce and hard work.
2) Transportation: The majority of the food gets wasted due to handling post-harvesting. As a result, the majority of the fruits and vegetables go waste during transit due to traffic snarls or improper temperature in the storage unit.
3) Supermarkets and restaurants: Even though the fruits and vegetables are attractively packed, the majority of them are left on the shelves unnoticed by the customers which result in massive wastage. Restaurants are also a major contributor towards food wastage dumping leftover food from the previous night as the same food can’t be served to the customers again.
4) The fridge and the table: There are so many instances where foods are kept in the refrigerator unnoticed for a long time. This may be due to unavailability at home for a long time or foods have been bought in excess and remained unused. This situation causes the food to be found in the trash and is a very common sight in every household. From the dining tables, when you take more than you can finish, often half-eaten food items will find their way into the bin.
With this blog, there should be awareness among the people towards food wastage and they should realize how food shortage and wastage is affecting the society in a bad way on a whole.